When Northwestern's men's basketball team takes the floor Monday night against St. Francis of New York in the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival, junior forward John Shurna will have another honor on his resume. On Monday Shurna earned his second Big Ten Player of the Week honor of the season and fourth of his career. Shurna averaged 27 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2 blocked shots in two games last week and scored his 1,000th career point last week Thursday against American. Shurna also helped the Wildcats start the season 7-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign.
In other Big Ten Player of the Week news, women's star Amy Jaeschke earned her third such honor of the season after averaging 24.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game in three Northwestern contests last week. She recorded with two 20-point games, two seven-rebound efforts and finished the week with 15 blocks. Her top game of the week came against Northern Illinois, where she finished with a game-high 33 points, adding seven rebounds and swatting five shots in a victory over the Huskies. Jaeschke ranks second in the Big Ten points per game (24.2) and third in rebounds (9.2).
Outside of the basketball court, the women's swim team is doing its part to boost the morale of U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan. The team is doing an 11-day training trip in San Juan, Puerto Rico and in between workouts the Wildcats are preparing care packages for five members of the U.S. Air Force. Senior Kate Stephensen spearheaded the project, organizing her teammates into five groups. The Wildcats collected candy, popcorn, holiday cookies, other snack items, playing cards, magazines, books, personal care items and footballs for the troops. NU also included stuffed animals for the troops to give to children in Afghan villages.
And finally, NU announced the four new members to its Athletic Hall of Fame. Steve DePetro (wrestling), Kathy Halley (field hockey), Courtney Koester (women's lacrosse) and Ralph Schultz (men's track and field) will be inducted on Jan. 22 at the university's Allen Center.